Today’s post is an apology to Watford Football Club, as the title would indicate. I have to admit, this leaves me with a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth. However, it takes a man to admit when he is wrong and that is what I am doing today. Confused? Allow me to explain!
So, Why Am I Apologizing?
Here’s a quick rundown for those of you who may be newer to the site (first of all, welcome!), or may have forgotten. My very first article here on Top Footy Talk was my table predictions for the Premier League this season! I don’t want to spoil the whole article so feel free to check it out here. In my predictions, I wasn’t afraid to be harsh. That’s exactly what I was with Watford. I was not impressed by their signing of Javi Garcia as manager and I predicted they would finish 17th in the league this season, narrowly avoiding relegation. However, with 7 games left in their season, I am admitting that I was wrong. Watford have 43 points and sit in 10th place. Clearly, it looks I missed poorly on this prediction. Why? I’m glad you asked let’s dig into some reasons!
A Strong Start
One of the main strengths of Watford’s campaign this season was their early success. The squad won their first four matches, most notably beating Tottenham 2-1. They sat in third place after four weeks with twelve points. For teams that aren’t contending for titles, 12 points is a massive amount. To put it into perspective Huddersfield currently sit in last on only 14 points for the whole season. For Watford to grab 12 points in four weeks was a great confidence booster and gave them a nice cushion.
Consistency and Resiliency
Watford has fielded the same team for much of the season. Their team is anchored by the reliable play of their defensive midfielders, Etienne Capoue and Abdoulaye Doucouré. They have both appeared 27 matches for the Hornets this season often starting side by side. Goalkeeper Ben Foster has played in all 31 Premier League games for the club this season. That is massive for a defense to know exactly who is between the sticks for them every game.
Another strong characteristic of this Watford side is their ability to bounce back after a poor run. The Hornets have gone on two such slides this season where they would lose 3/4 in a string of 5 matches. Both times those slides have happened, Watford has snapped the skids with back to back wins. Those are huge results for any team coming off a losing streak. Two wins immediately after a rough patch is very motivating and can help keep morale high.
A final strength of this Watford side is one that my cause some head scratching. But stay with me! I will do my best to explain. Watford isn’t known for having a star player, but that’s a good thing for them. Granted Gerard Deulofeu and Troy Deeney are names that casual Premier League fans may know, those players aren’t usually putting the team on their back and winning games single handedly. Watford thrives because they can produce all over the field. Not one player has more than 8 goals in the Premier League this season but 7 players have at least 3 goals or more. The Hornet’s leading assist producers are Abdoulaye Doucouré, a defensive midfielder, and José Holebas, a left back!
When opposing teams play Watford there isn’t one single player they can focus on stopping to help them win. Their talent is spread across the pitch and this is a great benefit to them! They are a solid example of what it means to be team-oriented rather than star driven. Full credit to Javi Garcia for getting this effort out of the Hornets. I doubted him at the start of the year, but it’s clear that he belongs as their manager. Hopefully Watford do the right thing and actually hold onto a manager for longer than one or two seasons!
That’s all I’ve got! I definitely missed on my Watford prediction! Do you like this kind of article? Let me know and I’ll find more predictions I missed! Thanks to Fredrik @F_edits for his great work! Follow him on Twitter and until next time, God bless!